Miss Cally Kwong Mei Wan is well-known as a beauty queen and singer who sang many classics in the 1980s and 1990s. She was the first singer to have staged a concert series of more than 50 shows in the Chinese mainland in the 1990s, and the first recipient of the best female singer award in Guangdong.
Upon finishing a diploma programme at the Gemological Institute of America in 1999, she made a foray into the business world, setting up her own jewellery business. She is now Managing Director of Cally K Jewellery Limited, and has been invited to act as judge for various competitions such as the 11th and 12th Hong Kong Jewellery Design Competitions.
Miss Kwong is committed to philanthropic work, particularly in the area of education. Since 2003, she has funded the construction of 44 primary and secondary schools in the Chinese mainland. She also founded the Cally Kwong Juvenile Activities Centre in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, in 2011, and sponsors scholarships annually at Nanchang University in Jiangxi. In 2008, she was named among Jiangxi’s top ten philanthropists. She is currently guest lecturer at Nanchang University and Jiujiang Vocational University, and is honorary principal of 44 primary and secondary schools.
With extensive ties in the Chinese mainland, Miss Kwong holds a number of important positions. She is Director of China Overseas Friendship Association and Vice Director of Jiangxi Overseas Friendship Association, and serves on the Jiangxi Provincial Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. A devout Buddhist, Miss Kwong has been following Master Xing Yun to learn about Buddhism for years and is currently President of Buddha’s Light International Association. She cares much for the needy and regards herself a lifelong volunteer. Immediately after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, she brought funds and relief supplies worth millions of dollars to the disaster-hit areas. Miss Kwong is also a member of the Fund-raising Committee under the PolyU Council. She has generously supported the development of PolyU by taking up the chairmanship of Charity Dinners in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and participating in various fundraising activities.
Miss Kwong is also the author of four beauty, inspirational and jewellery books.
Chairman Yang, University Council Members, President Tong and Honoured Guests,
It is indeed a great honour to be awarded this University Fellowship by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
In 1982, I took part in the Miss Hong Kong Beauty Pageant and in 1986 my first album was released. Perhaps because of the sentimental songs I sang, many people regard me as a cold person who does not smile much. But, in reality, I like to share things with people and be kind to others. Soon after I obtained the G.I.A. Gemologist Diploma 12 years ago in 1999, I set up my own jewellery business. I am so glad that I joined a “joyful” business, which serves customers making purchases for joyful occasions.
Over the past 30 years, I have gone through lots of trials, ups and downs in my life, but Buddhism has liberated me. I am very grateful to Master Xing Yun for his guidance over the years, which has enriched my life and helped me become more proactive and at ease with myself. I believe that as long as we have the following three goods: do good things, say good words and have a good heart, and give others the following four things: joy, hope, confidence and convenience, then we can build rewarding relationships and become a well-liked person.
It is my hope to be a lifelong volunteer since it is a blessing to be able to help others. But there is a limit to everyone’s ability and no one can escape from disease or death. So how can we achieve our goals with these limitations? I believe we should consolidate our strength in nurturing talents, as nurturing talent and virtuous behaviour is the key to the development of our society.
In 2003, I started building primary, secondary and migrant worker schools in the Chinese mainland, and became involved in sponsoring university students’ education. I am moved when I learn that my sponsored students have managed to continue their studies or to graduate from university. I hope they can excel in what they do and become pillars of our nation.
This year marks PolyU’s 75th anniversary. I know that the University has introduced a subject to encourage students to participate in community service. Some students may go to teach English among primary students in remote mountainous areas, while others may help build roads and repair bridges. I am delighted to have been invited to join the Fund-raising Committee under the PolyU Council last year. I will strive to serve the University and I hope that you too can support the University’s development, and its mission to nurture outstanding talents and create a harmonious society.
I will continue to share my immense joy and happiness with the people around me. Once again, let me extend my gratitude to PolyU and to all of you for your presence, and may I wish you all good health, peace and good fortune.